My choice for this chilly Fall evening is a Mushroom Barley Soup. Mushrooms are a good source of dietary fiber, protein, vitamins (thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, biotin, cobalamins) and ascorbic acid. In case you're interested, China is the world's largest edible mushroom producer and consumer of this fascinating fungus. Along with the barley, which is also a good source of dietary fiber, you have a satisfying, healthy soup to ward off flu bugs and as my Irish father would say, "warm the cockles of your heart."
Making soup is one of those things that the whole family can get involved with and it's an inexpensive way to provide a hearty, healthy meal. I'd love to hear about a favorite soup you make; a family recipe or twist on old standard. Cold nights = Bowl of Soup!
Hearty Mushroom Barley Soup
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1 lb. while button mushrooms, cleaned and cut into 1/2"-1" pieces
1/2 lb Crimini mushrooms (or your favorite) cleaned and cut into 1/2"-1" pieces
2 carrots, peeled and chopped into small pieces
2 stalks of celery, chopped into small pieces
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1/2 cup Pearl Barley, rinsed
2 T all-purpose flour
8 cups Vegetable broth
salt & pepper to taste
1/4 cup fresh parsley
1 T fresh dill or 1 tsp. dried dill
In a large Dutch oven or sauce pan, melt butter. Add the onions, carrots and celery and saute for 5-7 minutes. Add all the mushrooms and barley and continue to cook, stirring occasionally until the mushrooms have released all their liquid and the vegetables start to brown. About 20 minutes.
Sprinkle the flour over the mixture and stir to combine. Gradually add the broth and bring the soup to a boil, stirring frequently.